Historical Hats, Costumes & Accessories

Made by Nobility, for Nobility

The Halo Bonnet C.1410 - 1530

Black Velvet German Style Halo Bonnet with White and Burgundy Feathers The "Halo Bonnet" was German in character, adopted by the Italians but was worn throughout the continent in France, Spain, Flanders and Switzerland. Originally it was a "Milanese" fashion and found its way to France as the "Bonet la Coquarde," to denote a headdress coquettishly perched on one side of the head, but called the "Halo Bonnet" as the brim suggests a "Halo" when viewed sideways.

It was a circular, flat hat with a crown and feathers. The Tudor "Flat Cap" and "French Cap" come from this style. It was made of velvet, beaver, fur and other materials and had a profusion of plumes, projecting sideways or drooping in a graceful manner over the shoulder. The colours of the "Halo Bonnet" were blue, green, crimson, white, and rose but usually black. It started to be worn in Burgundy, France about 1410 and you can see early forms of this style of headdress in "Tres Riches Heures" Duc de Berry´s Book of Hours.

The hair was never loose with this style of headdress, usually in a plait down the centre of the back. By the late 15th century, the hair was dressed in the fashion of being encased in a "Fretwork" (net) as a plait or bun. This was called the "Reticulated Caul."

The underside of the flat brim was sometimes decorated with spangles (an old Goldwork term for sequins), pearls, jewels and aglets. Brooches and enamels were also favoured.

The Italians adopted the German hat and it was still in vogue in 1520 after an account, taken from the Venetian calendar. Many Ladies in the Tudor court also favoured these hats, including Anne Boleyn. The "Halo Bonnet" was worn by men and women and can be seen in many illustrations from "Romance of the Rose."

15th Century blue brocade halo bonnet with gold work 15th Century gold and black halo bonnet 15th Century blue and burgundy halo bonnet Black Velvet German Style Halo Bonnet with White and Burgundy Feathers


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